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Study Abroad: IES European Union
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John Macaulay

Hometown: Chambersburg, PA
Major: Political Science
Minors: History and Global Studies

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity from a counselor at Global Programs. We were searching for possible programs and this one to Freiburg, Germany caught my eye because of the traveling involved.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I studied in Freiburg, Germany, a little town located in South Western Germany about 30 miles to both France and Switzerland. During my time in Freiburg we participated in mostly European Politics based courses. During the semester my courses included European Union Integration, European Political Cultures, European Foreign and Security Policy Analysis, Migration and Ethnic Minorities, and the required German language course. While also studying the European Union, were given the opportunity to do field study trips. The first took us to Berlin and Prague and the second to Luxembourg, Brussels, and Paris. For the final field study I chose to travel to Rome, Madrid, and Barcelona. While on field study trips we were required to attend many meetings with various government and non-government members to discuss problems within the EU or simply deepen our knowledge of what the EU is. Finally, one of the things that drew me most to this program was the opportunity to intern at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium after the semester is over. The internship is very selective but is well worth the time and effort put into it. Overall, I could not be happier with my decision to study abroad here in Freiburg, the people are great, the area is beautiful, and the opportunity to increase my knowledge and awareness of a different culture is more than I ever expected.

"I could not be happier with my decision to study abroad here in Freiburg, the people are great, the area is beautiful, and the opportunity to increase my knowledge and awareness of a different culture is more than I ever expected."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience opened my eyes to a field that I had never even thought about before. I had heard very little about what the European Union is before I came to Freiburg and getting to widen my knowledge on a little known topic to those outside the EU is a very rewarding experience. I am very happy to be in such an academically rigorous program because I feel that I am learning an immense amount every day. The field study trips really rounded out the program because I was able to see the places I learned about in the classroom with my own eyes.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I plan on attending Law School after graduation. I had never before specialized in International Relations but I feel that this program has opened my mind to other people and cultures that I never would have thought about before. I now understand the complexities of different cultures and studying abroad offered me a great chance to “debunk stereotypes” about Europeans. I believe this program will continue to help me as I progress in my career as a lawyer and I hope that I will always be able to understand people and their unique cultures.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

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